Geoff Thomas MBE: Taking on the Tour de France with CRX Compression

For the second year running, CRX are proud to be official compression and recovery partners of Tour 21.

Crystal Palace and England football legend, Geoff Thomas MBE and his Tour 21 team, take on the Tour de France once again for Cure Leukaemia.

The stories that keep the wheels turning
It’s a sad fact that when it comes to cancer, everyone has a story. Husbands, sisters, best friends, children, uncles and aunts, the colleague that made you laugh every day, the school teacher who inspired your career. It’s all there in the detail, the love, the memories. Along comes cancer and BAM, the story unfolds. Geoff Thomas MBE has a story. It’s an inspiring one that rightly earned him his MBE in 2021, but if you were to ask Geoff, he would modestly say it was all down to a team of people, people who inspire Geoff, again again to get back on his bike and cycle The Tour de France raising funds for the charity Cure Leukaemia.

Every year he says he’s retiring, but we will believe it when we see it. Geoff just can’t stop himself cycling and raising money…you might say it’s in his blood. On July 3rd 2003, Geoff was diagnosed with Leukaemia and given 3 months to live. Thanks to pioneering stem cell treatment, led by the formidable Dr Charlie Craddock, Geoff defied the odds. He has subsequently ridden the whole Tour de France 5 times, and together with his team, has raised millions for the charity of which he is a Patron. And this year, team Tour 21 is doing it all over again, with Geoff front and centre.

The ambition is to raise £1 million pounds between a group of 21 amateur cyclists, all of whom have signed up to ride every stage of The Tour de France, one week ahead of the professional race. The challenge begins in Copenhagen, Denmark on 1 July and ends with the final stage (21) on the Champs-Elysees, Paris on 24th July and the team will be cycling every one of the 3,328km. The start date may only be days away, but the race really began for the team 18 months ago, when the gruelling training regime commenced. All riders selected to be part of the team were subject to interviews and tests to ensure they really were up to the challenge; this is not taken lightly, it’s a tough ask and you have to be physically and mentally prepared for the sacrifice it takes to complete it. Long, brutal, training schedules, on the road, on the watt bike, in the gym. Back to back, again and again. Building muscle, stamina and strength. Learning how far you can push your body. When to eat, when to hydrate and when to rest and how to recover. Of course, this is where we come in. We provided each rider with our specialist ‘Pro Pack” compression wear kit, every item they will need to target the quads, glutes, calves, biceps, triceps and pecs to assist with muscle fatigue recovery. Earlier this year, all riders were invited to St George’s Park, home of the England Football team training grounds, to a CRX presentation from our founder and ex England Cricket team physio Dean Conway about the importance of compression for recovery, tips and information about compression wear protocol as well as an introduction to their Pro Packs as part of our sponsorship of the event.

“For a second year running, CRX Compression will be joining The Tour 21 as the Official Recovery Partner and will support the cyclists resting their bodies after each gruelling stage using the latest compression wear firmly embedded in modern sports medicine practices. Their products blend insight, medical grade compression technology and styling that puts comfort and effectiveness first.”
Tour 21

Each day, after up to 12 hours in the saddle, it soon becomes part of the routine to pull on the full CRX compression kit and get into recovery mode as Nick Trbovic, a rider from the 2021 group recalls.

“Changing on the tour bus into my CRX kit felt great, not only because it represented another stage completed, but I quickly realised that this kit was crucial for fresh legs the following day. I maximised the time I could wearing the kit as it made a massive difference to next day DOMS”

The majority of the race will of course be in France, but this year’s route also touches down in Switzerland. There will be many many mountains to climb along the way, but the one which may be keeping the team training to the max is the final climbing test of the 2022 Tour de France which comes on stage 18 finishing up the Hautacam, a steep and intimidating mountain which averages a 7.8% over 13.6km.

“When getting up those monstrous mountains stages, it will be critical that our team have the correct sports recovery products, so we are delighted to announce our Official Recovery Partner CRX Compression once again supporting us”